Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Time

My Tuesday night post-kettlebell recovery routine is to curl up on the couch (under my awesome race t-shirt quilt my mom made for me!) and watch the Biggest Loser. On tonight's episode, the contestants go to Dallas and run/walk a 5K with a bunch of people. Of course, they show a lot of people crying to overly dramatic music and going on and on about the huge accomplishment of finishing.

Which got me thinking . . . remember crossing the finish line of your first race? First marathon? I ran a lot of shorter races before I ever ran a marathon, but the finish line of that first marathon, Twin Cities 2006, is really what sticks out in my head. Even when I started running a lot, I never believed that I would ever want to or be able to run a marathon. I mean really, I am the book worm/band geek. Remember the mile run in gym class? Yeah, I had to walk during that. And it took me like 15 minutes. When I played tennis in high school, I spent most of my energy thinking up excuses to skip the warm up run.

So crossing the finish line of my first marathon, something I thought I would never even WANT to accomplish, was huge. Crossing that first finish line gave me a permanent confidence boost: "If I can finish a marathon, I can do ___________." I never would have thought, even after crossing that line, that I'd be here getting ready to take on marathon #4. The road hasn't always been easy, but there's no going back now!

Coming up to the finish line of Twin Cities!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Salt with a Side of Salt, Please

This afternoon I went down to the cities to run my long run. Sophie got to hang out with her Grandma and Uncle Nik and I got to run something other than my same old routes around the house. I had 22 miles on the schedule. Luckily my mom lives right beween two nices parks with a great trail system, so I knew I just had to strap on the Garmin and go.

The run was great, but hilly. I never remembered all those hill from when I used to rollerblade those trails in high school . . . I ended up doing only 20. I made it back to my mom's house at 19.6 and convinced myself to get the extra .4, but just couldn't talk myself into the last two miles. Ended up running the 20 miles 25 seconds per minute faster than my last 20 two weeks ago. I'll take it.

I have noticed the last couple of weeks that I am a super salty sweater. I was really salt after the half last week, and notice lots of salt, especially on my face, during and after the long run today. I refueld on salt with some yummy chips and cheese after the run. Anybody take salt on the run? If so, what do you use and how often? I might have to try something.

All in all, a great week of marathon training:

Monday: 5 miles (with 1K, 2K, 1K, and 1K - a tough track workout, but I rocked it!)
Tuesday: 3 miles easy, 1 hr kettlebells
Wednesday: 6 miles tempo
Thursday: 3 miles easy
Friday: 1050 m. swim, 45 min kettlebells
Sunday: 20 miles

A couple more hard weeks and then it's taper time. I can't believe how fast this training has gone. I am getting exciting for the marathon - and reading all of your race reports is helping pump me up.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today's Workout: A Little Bit Dirty

This isn't someplace I normally run or work out. I ran this morning, but just had to enjoy the gorgeous weather after work. So after dinner, Sophie and I headed outside for a little hike.

We headed down the driveway and around the corner to visit our neighbors at the alpaca farm.

Then we headed to the backyard and hiked down to the river.

It was a little muddy!

Of course, it wasn't much of a workout because we had to take frequent breaks to allow Sophie to dig for worms. But it was nice to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bye Pretty Shoes

I've reached that point in my training where it is flats from here on out. This morning I put on a pair of heels before I left for court. And almost fell on the floor. Apparently half marathon on Saturday, tough track workout Monday, and run Tuesday morning = can't walk in heels. I pushed through and wore the shoes to court and back. And when I took them off, my calves were tight. So all the heels are pushed to the back of my office closet until after the marathon. Luckily I bought a super cute pair of black flats, so this won't happen again. Hopefully.

Anyhow . . . figured I better post my training from last week before this week gets too far underway. It wasn't the greatest week, but I'm happy with the time and effort I put in given that I was sick and dealing with a sick kiddo all week.

Monday: Unintentional rest day.
Tuesday: 1 hour kettlebells (ran 1 mile for warm up)
Wednesday: 4 miles (felt like death)
Thursday: 10 mile bike
Friday: 1000 m. swim (I made it into the 1000's!)
Saturday: 1/2 marathon
Sunday: walking & carried a toddler all over the MN Zoo - surely that counts for something!

I'm gearing up for my longest long run this weekend - 22 miles. So far the weather peeps are calling for rain. It could be a rough run!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Race Report - Earth Day 1/2 Marathon

Yesterday I ran the Earth Day 1/2 Marathon in St. Cloud for the third year in a row. I think this is a fantastic race - fun course with lots of spectators, well organized, and not too far away. Last year I ran in 2:02:31, which was a big PR and I was really wanting to go sub-2:00 this year.

My mom, Sophie, my running partner Jim, and I drove to St. Cloud in the morning and met with Jim's niece, who had picked up our packets. His niece went on to run a 1:53 PR - congrats Jenny! Her husband was wearing a pair of socks that I MUST HAVE. Lightening bolts. Awesome. Must commence shopping.

Anyhow . . . we had just enough time to hit the porta potties and then line up for he start. After a little bit of walking to get through the jam at the start, we were off running. I tried to be really careful not to go out too fast and keep my miles right around 9:00. This worked perfect, and the first few miles were coming in around 8:55. I felt good, but at the back of my mind I just kept thinking that I wasn't going to be able to beat 2 hours. I had a lot of negative self talk: "You're tempo runs haven't been that great." "You're still sick." Blah. I tried to tell myself to shut up, but I never do listen to myself that well.

At mile 5 I took a Gu and felt a nice burst of energy. I picked up the pace a little here and passed the 9:10/mi. pacer. The course winds onto a paved trail about mile 6-ish or so. I started to feel really tired at mile 7. I wanted to be off that trail. The 9:10 pacer caught up to me and I told myself to tuck in behind her and just stick with her. This worked for several miles - every time I felt tired, I reminded myself to stay right with that pacer.

Nearing mile 10, the course comes off the trail and up a steep hill. That hill really took it out of me. There was a water stop at the top of the hill and I stopped. I took two cups of water dumped one and my head and drank the other. During this little break, the 9:10 pacer pulled farther ahead of me. The negative talk really took over here and I was convinced I wasn't going to be able to make my goal.

I tried really hard those last few miles to just keep pushing. I would speed up, only to feel like I couldn't possibly go any further, and then slow down. So frustrating! There is a big downhill in mile 12 and I looked at my Garmin and thought if I could take advantage of that hill and really run a speedy last mile I still might have a shot at breaking two hours. After the hill, there are several turns until you get to the finish. I have a really hard time when I can't see the finish line - even if I know it's only half a mile away. My feet were just dragging! I looked at my Garmin and saw 12.75 and 1:59-ish. I knew I wasn't going to make it. I told myself to suck it up and push to try for a teensy PR. I really did push as hard as I could coming down the last stretch. When I stopped my Garmin it was 2:02:08 for 13.20. A 23 second PR. :)

As I crossed the finish line I heard someone saying my name - it was Julie. I had a chance to chat with her (as I was coming out of my post-race, halfway ready to puke phase - probably wasn't too coherent) and she walked with me to find my mom and Sophie. It was great to meet another blogger. Julie is a sweetheart and ran an awesome race!

So the sub-2:00 hour dream lives to see another day . . . I think my head needs more training than my legs!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I think I'll jump on the bandwagon today . . .

(1) A HUGE good luck to everyone running Boston on Monday! Katie, being the super speedster that she is, is going to tear it up. Marcia's going to show off which shoe she finally decided to settle down with and show everybody what moms from the midwest can do! And Jill is going show how birthday girls get it done. Can't wait to read the race reports!

(2) I'll be running in a much lower profile race this weekend, the Earth Day 1/2 Marathon in St. Cloud. After a very difficult four miler yesterday (still not recovered from my ish of earlier this week), I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The weather should be perfect, the playlist is good, and I've got a new handheld water bottle. So what if I can't breathe?

(3) Thanks to Marcia for gifting me with the Stiletto award. I'm too computer illiterate to put that cute little picture on here. I am so inspired by all the awesome female running bloggers I read - every single one of you push me to be a better runner every day. I'm going to pass on the award to:
Katie (I'd love to run with you some day, but you are way too fast for me, so we better just golf instead.)
Jeri (I wish I was running Green Bay again this year so I could be there to see your speedy self rock your first marathon!)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rest Days are So Exhausting

The plan for today? Three easy miles in the morning and a track workout after work. What actually happened? Unintentional rest day. Which has left me curled up on the couch with my blanky. Sophie decided to share her crud with me and I came down with the fever, stuffy head, achy thing in the middle of the night last night. So I scrapped the morning run. And then the real work began:

8 am: Drop Sophie (fever free) off at daycare, go to work. Deal with voicemails and all the weekend trouble makers in jail.
9:15 am: Chiro for the neck. Her words? "Yeah, this is really messed up." Um, thanks.
10 am: Call from daycare at work - Sophie has a 103 temp. Pick up Sophie, bring her home and get her settled in with Dad. Then back to work.
11 am: Race up the stairs at the courthouse for hearings. Then back to the office to return more phone calls and try to find my desk under all the paper.
1:15 pm: Get a crazy lady off the phone and race over to the clinic for Sophie's doctor appointment. Take Sophie home while Dad goes to Walmart to pick up prescription (for ear infection #4 since mid-January).
2:30 pm: Drive 90 mph back to the office for my 2:30 appointment. Who doesn't show up. Thankfully the rest of my appointments showed and I had a productive afternoon.
4:30 pm: Scrap the track workout because (1) my head feels like it's going to explode and (2) I need to take over at home so hubby can go to work.

I know this is the most boring post ever, but laying it all out makes me feel slightly less guilty for skipping the runs. My main goal is make sure I am healthy for my half this weekend. I want that sub-2 hours!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pain in the Neck

This was a great week for marathon training - perfect weather, high energy, great workouts.

Monday: AM 3 easy miles, PM 5 miles (with 6 x 800)
Tuesday: 1 hour kettlebells
Wednesday: AM 900 m. swim, PM 6 miles tempo (into the WIND and I still nailed it!)
Thursday: 10 mile bike
Saturday: 20 miles
Sunday . . . just waiting for Sophie to wake up from her nap and my mom to get here and we are headed out for a bike ride. I might also try to fit in some yoga later after the family leaves.

I did something goofy during kettlebells Tuesday night and my neck has been hurting ever since. It started to get a little better, but by bedtime last night it was screaming. I think it was a combination of the 20 miler, two hours raking the yard, and the Mariokart championship with my hubby that pushed it over the edge . . . anyhow, when I was up at 5:30 this morning watching Curious George (isn' t that what everyone does at 5:30 on Sunday morning?) it started spasming. Lovely. I think I'll be at the chiro tomorrow!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Outdoor Ride

Welcome to that part of the week in which I virtually drag you all to my little corner of Minnesota for a workout. Tonight's workout: 10 mile bike ride on the Munger Trail. While the first five miles straight into the wind were a little tough, those last five on the way back were a breeze! Sophie enjoyed her first ride out for the year too. This trail goes from Hinckley all the way up to Duluth and I have used it for running, rollerblading, biking, you name it. For Grandma's '08, I did almost all of my long runs on this trail pushing Sophie in the jogging stroller during her nap time. I've been bit in the ass by a dog on this trail. I've seen a bear crossing this trail. Fun stuff!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Favorite Races

For this week's Monday Brain Exchange, Jill over at Finishing is Winning wants to know about our favorite races. My favorites aren't necessarily races where I've PR'd, but rather races that are so awesome I just want to keep going back year after year.

#1: The Anoka Gray Ghost 5k. I don't miss this race. Running along the parade route through my hometown is one of the highlights of my fall. My times over the years have ranged from 24:57 (2009) to 35ish (2007 - three weeks postpartum). No matter how fast or slow, this definitely is fave.

#2: Grandma's. When I was thinking about my favorite races, I surprised myself by including Grandma's. I ran the full in '08 and the half in '09. Both days were very rough for me. But there is something about the atmosphere at Grandma's that just keeps me coming back for more. And nothing beats the feeling of running through all the spectators in Canal Park at the finish. Oh, and cooling off in Lake Superior is pretty neat too. And cold.

#3: Run for the Apples 5 Miler. Another great October race. This 5 miler is an "off road" race at an apple orchard in White Bear Lake. The course is fun (and super challenging), the people are great, and the post-race treats are the best.

So there are three of my favorites. I have lots of races I love, so it was hard to choose just three. Thanks Jill for hosting!

Monday, April 5, 2010


I finished off week eight of my training for the Madison Marathon - eight weeks to go! It felt good to turn to the second page of my training schedule. Last week was another pretty solid week:

Monday: 3 miles easy (no tempo run this week - I figured my 8K race on Sunday was tempo enough).
Tuesday: 1 hr kettlebells
Wednesday: 800 m. swim, 5 miles speedwork
Saturday: 18 miles
Sunday: 30 min yoga

My long run was tough this week. I tried to outsmart the gale force winds by doing a 3.6 mile loop, 7.4 mile loop, the 3.6 again, and then a 3 mile out and back. It didn't work. The wind smacked me around. But it could be windy on race day. And now I'll be ready. Have a great week!